Dream Academy’s recording career only lasted about six years and three studio albums. Nick Laird (lead vocals and guitars), Kate St. John (vocals and oboe), and Gilbert Gabriel (vocals and keyboards) created a fairly unique sound that has since been labeled “Dream Pop.”
As far as I can tell, The Morning Lasted All Day: A Retrospective is the first comprehensive compilation of the band’s music. The two-disc CD draws from their three studio albums, The Dream Academy (1985), Remembrance Days (1987), and A Different Kind Of Weather (1990), plus adds a number of previously unreleased tracks, and ends with one new song created for the album. As with all Real Gone Music releases, the remastering process is excellent and there is an extensive booklet that contains a history of the music and the band.
They are probably best remembered in the United States for their two hit singles. “Life In A Northern Town” has socially conscious lyrics encased in catchy melodies. “”The Love Parade” is a technological marvel as the multi-tracking of a single voice just builds and builds.
What made their sound unique was the interaction of St. John’s Oboe, among other instruments, with the keyboards. The other-worldly “In Places On The Run,” the ethereal “Power To Believe,” the delicate “Here,” and the soaring guitar of the previously unreleased “Living In A War” are all demonstrations of their creative spirit.
“Sunrising” was recorded this year and included on the release. It is more simple than most of their music as it began as a basic piano and drum piece before they added on some additional textures.
Despite the spiritual feel of their music, the lyrics moved in a socially conscious direction at times as they explored such themes as anti-war and the difficulties of life. It gives their music a lasting quality rather than just being stuck in the late 1980’s.
The Dream Academy carved out a nice niche for themselves during the last half of the 1980’s. The Morning Lasted All Day: A Retrospective traces their career from its origins to its end. No doubt a must for any fan of the band.